Bonus – Michael Boyle – Simply Strong

Jonathan: Welcome to the Smarter Science of Slim, the scientifically-proven program where you eat more and exercise less to burn fat and boost health.

Carrie: Eat smarter, exercise smarter, live better. I am so ready for that.

Jonathan: Hey, everyone. Jonathan Bailor here with another bonus Smarter Science of Slim podcast. I’m really excited for today’s show because we have, literally, one of the number one trainers and strength and conditioning experts in the nation here. We have none other than Mike Boyle, who has been doing this for decades. He is a consultant for the Boston Red Sox, works for people like Nomar Garciaparra. Is just really all over the internet and the real-world strength and fitness community, and is the proprietor of Mike, welcome to the show.

Mike: Thank you very much for having me, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Well, Mike, one of the reasons I really wanted to get you on the show – and certainly, I want to back up and hear your story – but you do a really good job, I think, of without being, let’s say, ‘mean’ about it, exposing what is actually true, both from a biomechanical and from what actually gets results in reality perspective, when it comes to strength and conditioning is so far removed from what we read about in magazines and what we hear about on infomercials, what we hear about on talk shows, and that’s really what I would like to explore on today’s show. Before we do that, Mike, can you tell us your story? You’ve been doing this for quite some time and I’d love to share your back story with the listeners.

Mike: Well, I’ve been doing this actually for 30 years, which is amazing. Well, a little more than 30 years. I started at Boston University as an athletic trainer in 1983, I think. I guess it’s my 30th year when we go to 2013. I realized relatively quickly that athletic training was not what I wanted to do, moved over and actually volunteered as a strength and conditioning coach – there was no such thing at Boston University as that – and there were really very few people within the United States who were getting paid to do strength and conditioning. I worked as a bartender at night and as a strength and conditioning coach during the day and gradually over time developed a program at Boston University and then went to work in 1991 for the Boston Bruins. Did that for about nine seasons while I was at BU – so I was really working two jobs – and then at the same time in ’97, I started Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning.

We went out and started one of the first private kind of for-profit strength and conditioning facilities that exists in the United States and we’ve expanded that three or four times and moved it. It’s been an adventure, a journey, from kind of a bartender who was trying to be a strength coach to now somebody who is presiding over a couple of different business entities. We’ve got internet-based businesses. We’ve got a licensing business now where we’re teaching other people how to run their facilities. We’ve got three of our own facilities. A lot of stuff going on.

Jonathan: Well, that’s awesome, Mike. I think one of the reasons, at least from the outside looking in, I can imagine that you’ve seen this rise, is your commitment. You’re very genuine not only, I’ve seen, in your personal work, but also in your professional work, and you call a spade a spade; again, while not going over the top to become more gimmicky. Can you tell me a little bit about what are some of the top – I think you have an article – I can’t remember the name of it off the top of my head, but it’s sort of like A Long Slow Walk To Pain or something?

Mike: A Long Slow Walk To Nowhere was the title of that one. I love that one. It was funny. I started writing – blogging – just because here we were sort of in the dawn of this internet era and people were like, “You should have a blog” and I had some friends who had sites and said, “Will you write these little brief articles?” and one of them was A Long Slow Walk To Nowhere, basically talking about the fact that studies state cardiovascular work was pretty much a waste of time. That was the real gist of the article. I think those are the things that we’ve tried to go after with people. I always tell people it drives me crazy when someone says gardening is exercise, “get outside and garden” or “go for a walk.”

Obviously, if you’re sedentary, moving is going to be better; but I always said it would be like your nutritionist saying, “Eat the sugar pack at Dunkin’ Donuts because you won’t die.” You know what I mean? Yeah, that’s actually pretty sound advice if you said to someone, “I don’t want you to die. Well, you can get free calories at Dunkin’ Donuts by taking the sugar packets and putting them in your mouth and you’ll get carbohydrates and you’ll live.” That’s the equivalent to me of ‘gardening being exercise’ or ‘walking being exercise’. It’s a very, very low bar that we’re setting for people and the point being, at some point, that ceases to be exercise and that’s probably relatively quickly.

Jonathan: Absolutely.

Mike: What we’ve got people to understand is you get into all this – and you don’t want to get all sciency [sic] – but the idea is the said principle, specific adaptation to implied or imposed demand. Alwyn Cosgrove was another friend of mine who has a brilliant sort of analogous mind like I do. He says, “If you walk and lose weight and you walk the same route, the walk becomes less and less effective the lighter you are”, which is actually true. If you just think of the amount of load you move over the distance. If the distance stays the same and the load decreases, then you’ve actually gotten less benefit if all things remain the same in terms of the speed of the walk and the length of the walk. This is what people are stuck with in the mainstream world, is this really watered-down advice. Or, now the flipside advice – the biggest loser advice – where we sort of pummel fat people on television for entertainment and then they think that that’s exercise and the reality is exercise probably is somewhere comfortably in between those two things.

Jonathan: Michael, I love this. Great minds may be here because I literally just wrote down the other end of the spectrum in my notes and that was – it does seem in typical mainstream fashion. There is just indisputable research now around interval training and the benefits of shorter, more intense exercise, but sadly, when the mainstream got their hands on that, that turned into taking people who are not at all ready and taking coaches who are not at all qualified and trying to get them to become Olympic lifters in 15 minutes with way too much weight. We were all walking and now it’s ‘CrossFit for everyone.’ It used to be “walking for everyone”, now it’s everyone should go flip 400-pound tires with no sense of structure or progressively incrementing your workout. It’s just “go move things.” How do we find that balance? How do we find that middle ground?

Mike: Well, I think it’s like everything when they say ‘everything in moderation’. Obviously, I would say CrossFit is the C-word. You have to be careful when you say it because you’ll bring out all the CrossFit people who will attack you, which is their way of dealing with the dissension that exists in their world, but yes, that’s as bad, on the advice side, as the gardening and walking is on the other side. I hate to say that I think Mike Boyle’s Strength and Conditioning – our business – is based in that middle ground. We’re going to do strength training. We’re going to do bodyweight training. One of the things I’ve always said is if you watch a Reebok CrossFit commercial, you would then get the feeling that it was in fact a commercial for us because everybody’s got great technique, nobody’s throwing up, nobody’s bleeding, nobody’s falling down. You’d look and think, “Yeah, that’s what we do at Boyle’s.” That’s probably true, although we tend to not Olympic lift with our adults but we’re doing lots of multi-joint strength training.

We’re doing squats and we’re doing lunges and we’re doing carries and we’re pushing sleds and we’re doing push-ups and we’re doing chin-ups, but we’re doing them well. We work with a concept we call ‘technical failure’. Technical failure is really different from failure. Technical failure is the point at which you can no longer do something perfectly. That’s very different from the point at which you can no longer do the exercise. That, to me, is the essential concept. You’ve got to be looking at this idea of mastery. My initial task is to master the techniques and then to add the intensity, but not to add intensity to things on which we have no mastery and not to add intensity to things that were not meant to be done at that intensity.

I always argue about the Olympic lifting thing. You can talk to any expert in Olympic lifting and they will tell you that it was not meant to be done in high repetitions. It was meant to be done for us at six and below all the time. You will very rarely see us do any sort of explosive Olympic movement for more than six repetitions because that technical failure point comes very rapidly and when you progress beyond that, then you’ve got problems.

Jonathan: Mike, it reminds me of many, many years ago – and I’m going to butcher this a little bit because I didn’t think about it prior to the podcast – but I heard a statement which I think has a lot of truth in it. It may not be completely true, but it has a lot of truth in it. That was, if your goal is just to move as much weight as possible – just that’s the goal – then your technique will be one that tries to make the movement as easy as possible and in some ways, will then – contrast that with someone whose goal is to stimulate as much muscular failure or as many muscle fibers being activated as possible. They will work to make that ‘exercise’ – for lack of better terms – as difficult as possible. They will try to find ways to not use gravity or not use momentum so that all of the stress is placed on the muscle fibers in question. It’s almost like, on this continuum of aesthetic versus, not athletic, but almost just to move weight versus move weight off your body, it’s almost like there is conflicting goals. One is, make the movement as easy as possible so you can move as much weight as possible. The other is, kind of make the movement as hard as possible so you work as much muscle with as least stress on joints and such and such as possible. Is there some truth there?

Mike: I think there is. What we talk about now is the idea that we want maximum benefit, minimum load. That’s what I’m really looking for because one of the things that you realize as you get older is all this stupid things that you did when you were a kid, where you tried to lift too much weight, all come back to haunt you. People look at me and it’s been really funny to watch some of my ‘peers’ age and suddenly come around to my way of thinking when they move into their 30s – some of these young internet guys who are ‘peer’ strength and conditioning experts, who are 27 or 28, the ‘go heavy or go home’ guys and ‘don’t worry about it, just lift as much as you can’ guys.

I wrote another article called Evolution of a Strength Coach and I always said that the evolution of a strength coach is – everybody is a bodybuilder in the beginning because they want to look cool and meet girls; and then they’re a power lifter because they realize that the power lifters make fun of the bodybuilders and think “you’re not lifting heavy weight, you’re not squatting heavy weight, you’re not benching heavy weight, you’re just looking to be pretty” and that doesn’t get you any respect in the weight room; then you’re the injured power lifter; then eventually, you’re the functional training guy. It’s just a matter of where you are in the evolution.

Everybody starts out with that sort of muscle magazine thing, but now because of the popularity of CrossFit, maybe you’ve got a little bit of a difference where suddenly, now it’s like everybody’s a MMA Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters. How many guys have you talked to, “Oh, yeah, I’m doing MMA Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.” I’ve said, “When was the last time someone punched you in the face?” They go, “Well, I’m not actually fighting. I just go and train.” “Okay, then you’re not an MMA fighter or some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu guy. You’re just some guy, like everybody else, going to a class. When you stand in the ring and someone punches you in the face and makes you bleed, then you’re an MMA fighter.” It’s always been this way.

When I was a kid, it was karate and everybody was Bruce Lee. It was the same thing. “When was the last time someone kicked you in the head really hard?” “Well, that’s never actually really happened. We just spar. We have pads on and we don’t really hit each other.” I’m like, “Well then, you’re not a full-contact karate fighter.” This is the stuff that – I’ve lived through this. I’m 53 years old. I’ve seen it all come and go. It’s all the same, but different. We were all Arnold and Franco Columbu down at Venice Beach, and then we were all power lifters, and then you get hurt, and then you realize, “Boy, that was stupid. I should’ve known better.” Then you start to listen to people like me and think, “Oh, he knew what he was saying all along. I just thought he was such a loser because he was saying ‘don’t use the heaviest weight you possibly can at every exercise’.”

Jonathan: Mike, to be very clear, obviously there are ways to do CrossFit which are not terrible, so please, CrossFit army, don’t hear me saying that everything is bad about CrossFit, but if I hear one more person say, “Well, it gets you ready for real life.” Mike, I don’t know about you, but on my way to work, I’m not usually flipping over 400-pound tires. The last time I actually needed to flip over a 400-pound tire in my life was…. Actually, you know what? I’ve never had to flip over a 400-pound tire.

Mike: Unless you own a backhoe or a front-end loader, you probably won’t have to flip a 400-pound tire. Right? I say it all the time when I talk about this. The same way, are you ever going to have to use a sledgehammer on a rubber object? Probably not because it’s kind of stupid to hit something rubber with a sledgehammer because it’s not going to go into the ground the way you wanted it to if you’re actually trying to bang something in. All of these things are inherently foolish and I always say, “It’s a really funny idea to use the sledgehammer until you hit yourself in the shin.” Right?

Jonathan: Again, I think our goal here is not necessarily to satirize, but if your goal is to go – I sometimes use the analogy of boxing. If someone came to me and they said, “Is boxing good exercise?” I would say no. It is not good exercise. It might be fun and it might be a wonderful hobby and if you enjoy it and you don’t mind major head trauma, then go ahead. I’m not here to poo-poo your hobby, but when we say ‘exercise’ or ‘realistic strength and conditioning’ – if you want to become a boxer, go box; if you want to become a professional tire flipper, go flip tires. If you just want to be a healthy person that isn’t broken and doesn’t die of diabetes, then there is a specific way of training for that too and it’s very similar to what you’re describing, Mike. It’s all about the training. It has to be specific to your goal and if your goal is to just be a functional human until the day you die, which is hopefully you just pass away in your sleep, and the day before that, you’re walking around and you’re fully functional – that requires a very specific form of training. Correct?

Mike: Absolutely. One of my friends said, “Unless you’re with CrossFit, it gets you prepared for real life.” At what point in real life do you have to swing yourself up over a bar 20 or 30 times or lift something over your head 50 times or run away from a barking dog for a quarter of a mile? I mean, I don’t get that. I think there’s a lot of justification that goes on. I have some kids that I coach in football who love CrossFit. I said, “It’s made for you.” It’s made for young guys who are good Olympic lifters/young females who are good Olympic lifters. There are certain people for whom this thing is made and I always use the analogy – it’s like saying football is for everybody.

Jonathan: It’s a great analogy.

Mike: So, soccer mom – you pad her up and you put her out there, get the helmet on, get the shoulder….. and boom. Somebody just runs into her. Like you said, boxing – great game. Great for everybody. Not really. There are certain requirements and now they’ve got all these ‘we’re going to do classes, we’re going to do [Indiscernible 17:12]’. We could sit here, I guess, and talk about CrossFit and about P90X Insanity and there’s all of these things that are out there and sort of been this ‘strength-in-a-box’ that people are going to jump on and try to do. As I said, we’ve got The Biggest Loser. I said, “The Biggest Loser is the worst thing that’s ever happened to fitness but it’s been really good for my business.” CrossFit has been really good for my business. P90X is really good for my business. Insanity is really good for my business because people always come back looking for something better. That’s why whenever anybody gets upset and is kind of complaining about stuff, I tell them, “Don’t worry about it. We just want to be Mercedes-Benz and we understand somebody’s going to want to drive a Porsche and somebody else is going to want to drive a Prius. That’s okay. Drive whatever you want. All we want to do is be the best in our class and do what we do and not have to worry to any great degree about what anybody else is doing.” That’s what’s really good.

I’ve got myself in trouble. I’ve almost gone to the point where I try to not say the word ‘CrossFit’ because it just makes my inbox explode with the people who are mad at me and I’m like, “Join the club.” I’m not really worried. I’ve said that women shouldn’t run. I’ve said lots of things in my life that have gotten people mad at me and the reality is that I always come home and my wife and kids are still there and the dogs are still there and everything is still good, I’m not really worried about, in the big picture, what goes on in the fitness world. As you said, what I’m trying to say to people is what’s actually true and what’s going to make them feel better and look better and, and if they’re athletes, perform better, which is as you said, you need to get to the point where you could do interval training. That might require walking first. That’s okay. I have no problem with walking. I have a problem with walking when you can do more than walking. Weight training – same way; you might start with light dumbbells, it might start with body weight, it might start with any simplistic thing that you can think of, but the idea is that eventually it has to progress. In all of these things, the idea is that if you’re not progressing, at some point you may look and think ‘I’m okay. I like right where I am.’

I’m kind of at that stage of life. I like where I am. My weight is about where I need it to be and I can eat and drink and live the way that I want to live as long as I keep working out. My goal is not to die or get worse and if I achieve that goal, I’ll be really happy. A lot of other people we look at were suffering from diseases of inactivity, were suffering from self-imposed illness in terms of heart disease and diabetes and atherosclerosis and that’s really stupid. When I look at somebody and think they’re like that and it’s 100 percent their fault, that bothers me.

Jonathan: Mike, I think one of the things that really becomes a challenge is certainly these conditions are conditions which can absolutely be avoided by the individual, but let’s take a fictional but a home-hitting example for many of our listeners and that is, let’s say I am a female and let’s say I am in my mid-30s and let’s say I’m quite busy so I’m not able to dig below the mainstream. Here’s what I’ll think I need to do to exercise – run long distances – and here’s what I need to think I need to do to be healthy from an eating perspective – minimize my fat intake, basically ignore protein because it’s irrelevant, and eat more healthy whole grains and cut my calories to about 1200 calories per day. That individual will do that, and will get horribly worse, and then will likely say, “Well, I’m just broken, so I’m going to give up trying to be healthy. I’ll probably go on some antidepressants because I think I’m broken as a person.” That will only make the problem worse and, in some ways, that’s ‘self-imposed’, but is it really? If you were told smoking is good for you like in the 1920s and then you get lung cancer, was it your fault or….? I think it becomes a little gray there.

Mike: I think, in that situation, you’re probably right because I firmly believe that most of the registered dieticians in this world do a tremendous disservice to people because they tell them exactly that. “Eat more carbs, do more aerobic exercise.” Realistically, if you want a program to probably get worse, that’s it. I look at people and I tell people all the time, “If you want to get better, avoid grain.” Just flat out grain avoidance. “What about healthy grains?” “Just avoid it. Try to not have any corn and try to not have any wheat.”

If you did, whether you believe Wheat Belly and Dr. Davis or don’t believe Wheat Belly and Dr. Davis, when you try to cut wheat out of your diet – and that doesn’t mean eating gluten-free – it means not eating wheat, which is entirely different. You can go buy gluten-free muffins, which doesn’t make any sense. It was funny because after I read Wheat Belly and one thing the guy said is, “Try to avoid gluten; not eat gluten-free.” That’s very, very different. Just don’t eat wheat, don’t eat corn. You’ll get healthier. There’s absolutely positively no question. If you said, “I’m just going to try to eat lean protein and vegetables”, I tell people all the time, “Nutrition is ridiculously simple. Lean protein and vegetables.” They say, “Well, what about oatmeal? Is it a lean protein or a vegetable?”

Jonathan: What about popcorn? What about quinoa? What about brown rice?

Mike: They don’t want to listen to you. One of our coaches who I’ve worked with for 30 years said people only call you for agreement, so don’t bother talking to them. I’m still one of those who continue to go out and sort of shout in the darkness, hoping that somebody will listen because again, like you said, it’s amazing how many people say that. “Well, what about whole wheat bread?” “Is it a vegetable or protein?” I give people the same answer over and over again. “Is it a vegetable or a protein?” “No.” “But I like it.” “Well, I didn’t ask you that. That was not the question. You asked me how to lose weight and I told you how.” You would like me to make it way more [Indiscernible 23:27]. Give me a list of things to eat. “I’ll just give you a list of things not to eat. The things to not eat are grains. Don’t eat them. You can eat any vegetable that you want any time that you want. You can eat pretty much any protein you want any time that you want as long as it’s not fried and you can have occasional fruit. End of nutrition class. See you later. Go home.” I’ve had people lose 100 pounds, literally.

Jonathan: Help me here, Mike, because this is something I continuously struggle with. It’s this kind of paradox. From a nutrition perspective, you hit the nail on the head there. It’s just maximize vegetables, proteins and whole foods fats and you’re good. That’s it. That’s all you have to do and you can eat basically as much of that as you want whenever you want because it’s self-limiting. You’re not going to eat 10,000 calories worth of vegetables; your stomach would explode. The same thing from an exercise perspective. If you like cardiovascular-type exercise, do it in an interval fashion and do compound safe strength training movements and progressively and gradually increase your resistance, never compromising form. That has been true for hundreds of years and it has been effective for hundreds of years and if you just look at the biochemistry of it, it has to be true. People sometimes want to argue about stuff that you don’t need to argue about. If you do this and you do this, this happens. We get it. What is this craving for complexity? We all say we want simple, but then we sometimes seem to crave the complex. What’s going on there?

Mike: Well, I think because everyone is always looking for the magic pill. Think about back to thousands of years to alchemy – the idea that you could turn something into gold. An alchemist was going to turn something into gold. They pursued that. People pursued alchemy for a long time. There’s always another fat loss thing, like you said, we started talking about The Dr. Oz Show – green tea or guarana or this or that. I wish they could find one of these things that really worked. I’d be psyched, but they never have. I say what really works – people eat too much. Don’t tell people or they’ll starve themselves. I always say, “If you’re fat, try to starve yourself. Go ahead, I dare you.” You won’t die. You won’t even come close to dying. It’ll take you a really long time before you even got sick because you’d still eat. The people you have to worry about are the really motivated people who do exactly what you say, not the unmotivated ones who don’t. I think that’s where we sometimes get screwed up.

We’re trying to worry about giving perfect nutrition advice to sort of an imperfect person and that’s where we get crossed up. That’s why I’ve said, “If you want rules, here’s the rule. Lean protein, all the vegetables you want. Go for it.” Simple. When you get all the ‘what if?’, there are no ‘what ifs’. Like I say with exercise – real simple – Does it hurt? It can only be answered yes or no. ‘After I warm up?’ is ‘yes’. ‘Only a little?’ is ‘yes’. ‘Sometimes when I do this?’ is ‘yes’.

I wrote an article called Does It Hurt? It’s one of the most popular articles I’ve ever written because it says when choosing exercises, you simply ask yourself one question. If the exercise hurts, you don’t do it; you find another one. People say, “Well, I like to bench press.” “I didn’t ask you that. That wasn’t the question. The question was ‘does bench pressing…?’ “Yes, it makes my shoulder sore.” “Then don’t do that anymore.” I always tell people if you closed your hand in the car door, I would tell you, “Don’t do that anymore.” If you looked at me and said, “But I like closing my hand in the car door.” I would say, “It doesn’t matter. It’s not good for you. It makes your fingers swell up. Don’t do it.” This is where you get into struggles with people because we have these ideas in our head – these preconceptions – whether it be about exercise or about diet and we need to get away from the preconceptions and that’s why I said I think part of my job sometimes has been to demystify a lot of these things for people and to say, “Here is the reality. Here is the truth.”

I wrote an article one time and I said I don’t think women make great runners because in running there’s a 60 percent injury rate in women that take up running. That’s wholly unacceptable to me. They’d be much better off on a stationary bike. They’d be much better off on an elliptical trainer. Again, the amount of hate mail that I got was unbelievable. They were all like, “You can’t tell us what we can’t do, you sexist, biased…” No, that’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m just telling you that biomechanically, that might not be the best exercise mode for you. I got myself in trouble, but I joke, “What do good woman runners look like? Watch the marathon. Good men runners.”

One of the things you notice – you never see a Playboy model finishing in the Top Ten of the Boston marathon. You just don’t. You see people that were made to run the Boston marathon finishing in the Top Ten of the Boston Marathon. They have very, very narrow hips – much narrower than a normal female. They’re smaller in every dimension than a normal female. The a normal female who takes up distance running becomes a statistic. They become one of the 60 percent that get hurt, but we keep recommending these things. I just think there’s a tremendous amount of absolute stupidity and obviously the popularity of The Biggest Loser has just like a flux capacitor accelerator for stupidity in the fitness world because now you get people on TV doing ridiculously stupid things to people who have no business doing it and then people say, “Oh, they lost 150 pounds.” In a medically-controlled weight loss experiment where there was a financial incentive for them to do it. That’s not the real world. So much of this stuff is not real world.

As I said, I could babble on about this stuff forever and ever and ever, but the reality is it’s really simple. If someone said to me, “What should I do?”, I would say interval train on a stationary bike because you won’t hurt your joints, you won’t hurt your knees, you won’t hurt your feet, you won’t have any of the ‘-itises’ – you won’t have plantar fasciitis, you will not have patellar tendinitis, you will not have iliotibial tract friction syndrome – you won’t have any of those things if you do work on a stationary bike. Then, eat a diet that is high in protein and high in vegetable content. Cut out your grains. Don’t worry about essential grains. Essential grains is like jumbo shrimp. There is no essential grain. You can get all your carbs, all your vitamins, everything that you need, without grains. They are not essential. They’re essential to farmers. They’re essential to big food companies. They’re not essential to people. It’s pretty simple.

Jonathan: Mike, I just let you go there for a while because you’re speaking the truth, brother, and I think that the challenge we have is, again, if you look at people who actually know what they’re talking about, they’re all saying the same thing. They’re all saying focus on quality – the quality of your movement – rather than just doing more. ‘Just go do more of anything.’ That is like saying, “Just go take more medicine. It doesn’t matter what medicine it is – just go find medicine and take it.” No. You’ve got to take the right stuff for you and also from a nutrition perspective, people who are focusing on the quality of the food and maximizing their nutrient intake. Sadly, there is so much money behind –

I think it was Lenin who, not necessarily the most wonderful person in the world, but did have an intelligent statement when he said, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” I feel sometimes we’re in the matrix where once you get unplugged and you look in, that is literally – if I wanted to make someone sick and heavy, I would tell them to do what is traditionally prescribed as healthy. I would literally say, “Try to jog as much as you can on pavement and eat a low-fat, high-carbohydrate, high-starch diet.” That is what I would recommend to them. When you’re unplugged, you look in and you’re just like, “That’s bananas.” But when you’re in it – it’s like a fish in water doesn’t really realize it’s in water. It’s like how do you get yourself out? That’s what I wanted to close the show with here, Mike, is how does someone, in a world where lies are told so often they become the truth, unplug themselves from that matrix of mythology?

Mike: In all honesty, go back and listen to this again. It’s that simple. I mean, the big thing is ‘it’s that simple’. Get exercise that is more interval in nature. Work harder, not longer. Like you said, emphasize a protein-adequate – this is where I’ve always said, if you look at the Zone, if you look at Atkins, if you look at South Beach, if you look at any of these, they all say the same thing – as you said, protein-adequate diet. Protein-adequate with vegetables. You’re going to be okay.

I think that’s how somebody gets out because what you realize – and I’m kind of closed with this idea and I haven’t finished this article yet – but I started an article called There’s No Money In Health. If you think about it in hospitals alone – and I believe I’m correct on this and I will give myself a small qualifier in case somebody from the hospital comes and sues me – but I believe the number one and two profit centers in hospitals are bariatric surgery and spinal surgery. There’s not a lot of incentive in the health care system when you’ve got drugs.

I’ll give you another simple analogy. Giving somebody drugs is like you bringing your car into the mechanic and saying my Check Engine light is on and the mechanic looking at you and saying, “Thank God I have duct tape. I’d like you to place it over that Check Engine light and continue to drive the car. As long as you can’t see the Check Engine light, you’re going to be fine.” That’s what most drugs do. Most drugs do not, in any way, shape, or form, treat disease. They make symptoms of disease disappear, but all of the underlying causes – You take metformin for your diabetes, you still have diabetes. Metformin doesn’t make diabetes go away. Insulin doesn’t make diabetes go away, but insulin-dependent diabetic is different, but there are, I believe, some adult-onset diabetics who become insulin-dependent. These things are insane. Someone should say, “Take some heavy exercise and call me in the morning.” That would be much better advice than, “Continue with your shitty lifestyle. Here are some drugs that might keep you alive longer.”

I wrote another article that was based on old Paul Chek quotes, ‘Most people are dead at 35’. It said most people are dead at 35, they just walk around till they’re 70. It’s true. Most people are screwed and they’re limping and they’re getting ready for the ramp chair that takes you upstairs and the cart that takes you around Walmart and all these other things just because they flat-out don’t take care of themselves and that’s what’s sad. I’ve always said over and over again, “We’re in the health care business. We are the best health care professionals in the world and we’re doing more for people than probably anybody in the medical field is.” That’s reality.

Jonathan: I love it, Mike. There’s definitely no shortage of reality and truth being shared in this podcast. I really appreciate you sharing your time and your decades of experience and also your courage with us because you’re saying a lot of things that a lot of people aren’t willing to say. Listeners, I hope you know some of this stuff may have come in and feel like it’s a little jarring, but sometimes that’s what we need. We need to be jarred. Sometimes you need that. Just like ‘boom,’ like ‘Stop. Stop what you’re doing.” and pull yourself out because you can and when you do, it becomes so simple and you can get on with your life and it works and you will have more time and literally it will transform your life. If it takes a little bit of a jar to get you to try it, just do it and then keep at it because it has to work. It’s just biology. One plus one will always equal two.

Mike: The other thing I say to people and then I’ve got to sign off because I’ve got to be out of here by 12:15 Eastern Time, “Examine the evidence.” The evidence is all there. It’s been there. Just go back and look for the evidence. Don’t look for opinions of somebody. Follow the money and figure it out. I have no financial incentive at all in telling people the truth. If you look at some other people and say, “Do they have a financial incentive?” More than likely, they do. Look for evidence and look for the money trail and you’ll usually eventually find the truth if you figure that stuff out.

Jonathan: Also, look for because that’s where you can learn more about today’s guest, Mike Boyle. Mike, is there anything else? I want to make sure individuals have the ability to find more about you and about your work. There’s Where else can they go?

Mike: They can go to, which is a paid site where we answer questions all the time. They can go to StrengthCoach Blog which is a site that I kind of blog on from time to time, week to week. Those would be the big ones that people can hit. If they’re really in the fitness industry and they want to know more about what they can do, they can look at Body By Boyle Online, which is kind of almost a virtual franchise kind of idea. We put up all our staff meetings, all our programs. We’ve got a lot of internet-related ventures. I need to click off this thing right now and get to my next meeting.

Jonathan: I appreciate it, Mike.

Mike: I appreciate it.

Jonathan: Thank you so much for joining us. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you, Mike.

Mike: Alright, thanks.

Jonathan: Listeners, I hope you enjoyed today’s podcast as much as I did. Certainly, some truth bombs there. It might have come across, like I said, a bit jarring, but sometimes that’s what we need. We need a little bit of a jar to break us out of those lies that we’ve been told for years and years and years and get back to the simple truth. That is, if we just focus on quality.

Jonathan: Wait, wait. Don’t stop listening yet.

Carrie: You can get fabulous free SANE recipes over at

Jonathan: And don’t forget, your 100 percent free Eating and Exercise Quick Start Program as well as free fun daily tips delivered right into your inbox at

This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Mike Boyle.

Functional Training for Sports

Mike is known internationally for his pioneering work in the field of Strength & Conditioning and is regarded as one of the top experts in the area for Sports Performance Training. He has made his mark on the industry over the past 30 years with an impressive following of professional athletes, from the US Women’s Olympic teams in Soccer and Ice Hockey to the Boston Bruins, Boston Breakers, New England Revolution, and most recently the Boston Red Sox. His client list over the years reads like a Who’s Who of athletic success in New England and across the country including legendary Boston names such as Nomar Garciaparra, Cam Neely, and Ray Bourque.

In 2012, Michael was selected to become part of the Boston Red Sox coaching staff, acting as a strength and conditioning consultant for the team, and is here to help us cut through the hype and keep strong simple.